lunes, 2 de agosto de 2010


 By: Felipe Argote

Do not owe to rich neither promise to poor, my mom said in her infinite repertoire of proverbs. Such is the case of highways. During the election campaign in this cornucopia of promises when it became the presidential candidate and his campaign, promised a meter in three years, to lower the food basket, reducing unemployment and in turn inflation. Among a myriad of promises pledged to the nationalization of the runners and the gratuity of the same.

Reality is always richer than any theoretical scheme. But the five-year recurrence candidates promising the moon and the stars, but once exalted in power are dedicated to give excuses for the reasons that this same promises are not possible and that people over and over again believe them again is what moves to tenderness for the Panamanian electorate, not to use sadness at how shocking the term is.

But let’s talk about the highways.

It now appears that we the people are going to buy the highways more than double what we receive by 49 percent of the shares of the National Institute of Telecommunications, now Cable & Wireless.

To buy it the government is ready to spent part of the 1.200 million dollars from the Development Trust Fund, whose funds come from the privatization of INTEL and IRHE and some other minor sales. They come from state enterprises that cost more than twenty years to rise, we gave to foreign capital and at least the positive side, the government sold them, the Perez Balladares at least not spent these funds as if he did that of Guillermo Endara to the proceeds of the sale of Cemento Bayano. On the other hand was placed in a fund called the Development Trust with the ban by spending bill or current spending or investment spending disguised. However his interests were deposited to be spent in a institution called the FES. This institution quickly became a piñata for the incumbent government as Mireya Moscoso promised in the campaign to close it. On reaching the government she kept her promise: FES was closed but immediately opened the FIS (Social Investment Fund) with the same features as its immediate predecessor. Then the candidate Martinelli promised to close the FIS. On reaching the government decided that it was not so bad and we're still hoping to at least see the Audit promised.

It is now intended to dismember the fund devoted to buying some of the highways and the other party will come out of depositors' funds Social Security. It expects to pay $650 million for the northern highway corridor and 420 million for the southern highway for a grand total of 1.07 billion dollars.

This means that if the project fails we ran out of domestic savings and no retirement fund of thousands of Panamanians, with serious consequences for the country's financial situation. If the highways are profitable with the current pricing structure, so that users with high rates choked the corridors will not see an improvement in their situation and if prices come down the corridors to the satisfaction of users it won’t be profitable, so we lose our investment as a country.

To paraphrase Stephen R. Covey this is a lose lose situation.

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